Dallas: Doug Kalitta eliminations summary

Kalitta wins in Dallas: collects second trophy in consecutive events. Ennis, Tex., Oct. 14, 2002 - Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools/Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster team are searching for a larger trophy case. Team Kalitta needs to make room...

Kalitta wins in Dallas: collects second trophy in consecutive events.

Ennis, Tex., Oct. 14, 2002 - Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools/Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster team are searching for a larger trophy case. Team Kalitta needs to make room for their latest hardware addition after winning another Wally (trophy) at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals this past weekend in Ennis, Tex., just south of Dallas. This victory is the second consecutive and the third for the Mac Tools team in last four national events.

Kalitta, 38, also became part of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series history on Sunday. His win was the 500th for the Top Fuel class. Kalitta has now won three events in 2002 to increase his career victory total to 11. The win also pushed Kalitta from fourth into third place in NHRA POWERade championship points.

"The Mac Tools dragster team is awesome," said Kalitta. "Our hot rod is the envy of all the other Top Fuel teams right now, and that is a great place to be. We struggled early this year and got too far behind to contend for the championship, but if we can continue to mix up the championship plans of those beer cars, it gives us even more incentive to keep building momentum for 2003."

After qualifying eighth with a 4.625-second, 325.73 mph blast, Kalitta (4.587 seconds, 320.39 mph) took his first step toward the title with a convincing win over Clay Millican (4.688 seconds, 309.27 mph). Kalitta's amazing .410-second reaction time coupled with a strong performance from the Mac Tools dragster ended Millican's race day early.

Kalitta matched up with number one qualifier, Andrew Cowin, in the second round of eliminations. Kalitta (4.567 seconds, 323.27 mph) used the best elapsed time of the round to easily defeat Cowin (4.617 seconds, 296.44 mph). The stage was set for a semi-final round battle with Kenny Bernstein and his Budweiser King dragster.

In the semi-finals, the Mac Tools dragster lost traction for the first time during eliminations, and the hopes of another trophy looked to be lost. However, Bernstein also experienced traction problems. Kalitta and the crafty veteran dueled back and forth, on and off the throttles of their race cars, until finally Kalitta was able to regain traction first and emerge from the smoke with a win accompanied with a huge sigh of relief.

"I kept waiting for him to pass me, but luckily he never did. It was ugly, but we turned on the win light, and that is all that matters," said Kalitta.

The title round paired Kalitta with Cory McClenathan. When they met at the starting line, it was the 16th time they had done so in their careers. The race was over almost as soon as it began. McClenathan's rear tires began spinning and smoking before he was 60 ft. down track, and Kalitta cruised to an easy win with a 4.582-second, 322.58 mph trip down the quarter mile.

"Our Mac Tools/Kalitta Motorsports crew works so hard to give me the best dragster every time we go down the track. It is really gratifying for me to be able to do my job and get another win for them, our fans, Mac Tools and everyone that helps our team run the best we can," said Kalitta.

After 21 of 23 National Events, Doug is 3rd in NHRA POWERade Top Fuel Championship points.

-kr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Clay Millican , Kenny Bernstein , Doug Kalitta , Andrew Cowin , Cory McClenathan